the feeler bet

Texas Holdem Betting Strategies » Feeler Bet

Bet Type Objective Bet Range
Feeler Bet/Probe Bet Extract information from your opponent 1/3 the size of Pot

Let's learn about the feeler bet, also known as the probe bet, in Texas Holdem. Remember that in poker, betting strategy is of paramount importance.

Now, the feeler bet or probe bet is similar to the continuation bet, but its purpose is to let you know WHERE YOU STAND (er, make that sit) in the hand. If you never bet, you will never recognize what your opponents are holding. Hence, the name feeler bet or probe bet. You are "getting a feel for"--that's right, "probing" to find out--how strong your opponents' hands are.

The feeler bet or probe bet accomplishes four things:

  1. You get to find out who is strong and who is weak.
  2. You get control of the action at the table.
  3. You prevent others at the table from getting a good read on you.
  4. You get a read on your opponents by forcing them to make a decision.

Betting is an ESSENTIAL part of becoming good at Texas Holdem poker.

Take the following three examples with this type of bet.

First example; you're on the button in a sit n go tournament and the blinds are 25/50 and your hole cards are...

feeler bet feeler bet

Four players limp in and the action is to you with your low-wired pair. Should you limp in like your opponents? NO!

Position gives you privilege of information. So at this point, you should throw a bet out about a 1/3 of the size of the pot, so you bet $80.

The small blind folds and big blind calls your bet to protect his investment. The next player re-raises and bets $240!

Because you are "probing for information," you probably realize your low-wired pair is worthless and you should fold.

With the re-raise, everyone around the table folds and the player who did re-raise shows his cards...

Ad (4K) A-H (4K)

Second example with the same hole cards, but this time you limp in with your low-wired pair.

This time the flop falls...

2-d (3K) 3-c (3K) 5-s (4K)

It's an outstanding flop, right? Perhaps. The first player fires out a $200 dollar bet and remember the blinds are 25/50. The other two players fold, the action is to you.

Because you didn't make a pre-flop raise, you're not quite sure what player one is holding. He could have A,5, two pair or a set.

Let's say you re-raise him to put him all in, he then calls your raise and come to find out he flopped a set with his two's.

You lost it all because you limped in.

Third example, except this time you make a pre-flop raise 3x the Big Blind.

The first person to act folds, the second player calls and the third player folds. You now believe player two is on to something, otherwise he would have folded. The flop shows the following...

k-c (8K) 5-h (3K) 4-h (4K)
As (3K)

The caller's check... What should you do? You bet no doubt! Therefore, you bet 1/3 the size of the pot and the lone remaining player calls your bet.

You can probably put him on a king with a low kicker.

The turn shows an...

Again, player two checks simply because he fears you could be holding an Ace (which goes back to your pre-flop raise).

You throw out another feeler bet--and this time he Texas folds 'em. You win the hand. You rake in the money. You have the cute waitress bring you a scotch and she winks at you. You grin. Your opponents glare. Chris Fergusen asks for your e-mail address. The crowd wave their towels.

The moral of the story with the feeler bet: Aggressive betting pre-flop and showing strength afterwards are the keys to heaven's door.

Exit Feeler Bet » Texas Holdem Poker

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